Anxiety… I didn’t know or fully understand what it was until I experienced it. It is like everything in my world is turning upside down and I don’t know what did it or what my feelings even are… The smallest little things set me off and make me loose it. I have been pretty open & honest about my struggle with postpartum depression & anxiety and with parenting King. They are something that I knew due to my PPD & PPA that I was contributing to, but it never dawned on me that he might have anxiety too.
We have had some serious behavioral struggles with sweet King, things that I can’t blame on him because I truly believe now that he is acting out because he doesn’t know what else to do with the emotions that he is feeling. The day he ran in front of a car in the grocery store parking lot is the day I decided that we needed help, King needed help, and we needed to help this sweet boy to be happy. I called our pediatricians office and explained what had/has been going on for the past few years. It had come up here and there in appointments but I figured he was just a “typical boy” or a “hard kid”. The receptionist recommended that I make a behavioral analysis appointment for him to have him evaluated, she looked at the schedule and told me it was two weeks out. She said that with what we were going through we needed to come in sooner and to make a well child check and bring up my concerns there. We made both appointments and waited a couple days until his well child check. I have really really loved our pediatrician. He is not one to slap medications on something and call it good, he wants to find the root of the problem, see what it is, try some things, and then if they need medications he will. I talked through everything we had been going through with King and he sat and listened, asked questions, etc. He never once made me feel like it was my fault or that I was a terrible mama. He then asked me if our family has any history or depression or anxiety, I explained my PPD and PPA, told him I was on Zoloft and it was really helping. He looked at me in the eyes and said, “I can see you are tired, not only physically but mentally & emotionally too. This little boy is changing your family dynamics, he isn’t happy, and those things aren’t okay. We are going to figure this out and we are going to help him & your family.”. I never knew how much stress was on my shoulders until he said that, he validated me, made me feel like I wasn’t a “mom who couldn’t handle their child” like I had told myself so many times. He asked me what we had been doing with King and I explained we use the 1-2-3 magic discipline system like he had recommended (you can get the book here), do affirmations every single morning, strict bedtime & bedtime routines, etc. Then he told me that he doesn’t recommend play therapy for King quite yet, but it is something we can do in the future for him and he wanted to try him on some Zoloft along with a few other things (non-medication) to see if we can help him.
Ever since I shared our journey and keep sharing our journey with him I get so many messages asking what we are doing, if it is helping, and who our pediatrician is so I felt like putting a blog post together about all of it would be the easiest way for you guys to have the information, be able to access it again, and save it for later.
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How We Are Helping King With Toddler Anxiety
Here is what we have been doing:
I honestly am taking him off of this, he isn’t mean agitated, but he is crazy agitated. He also is way more hyper-active than usual. My mom said that she compares him to being on Speed the drug because he is so out of control & agitated. I also can’t say that it really is helping with his anxiety either. My pediatrician has another medication that we can try and we go in next week so we will switch that up.
This is something that we were doing every morning in the car before preschool, but we have started adding it to his bedtime routine too and it has helped a ton. We use Simple Sadie Janes kids meditations and he loves them. They are simple to him to follow and also fun for him. She makes jokes in them, etc. We absolutely love them, I do her adult meditations and am obsessed with them too.
We have a pretty strict bedtime routine and it has made huge differences since we started implementing it about a year ago. I have a post going up Friday of exactly what that is and how it all works. King is a little boy that we say you can’t give him a centimeter or he takes a mile so we have to stick to our guns and our rules really strongly.
This is a book recommended by my pediatrician that has changed the way we discipline completely and it has been so good with King. It is a no emotion no talking approach which I was really hesitant about at first but was literally grasping straws so we tried it and we will never look back. It is something that we will do with all of our kids now, I highly recommend it!
We are no experts, these are just the things that have worked for our little family and King. I hope that a couple of these things are things you can implement for your kids and hopefully help them too. If you have any questions or anything please don’t hesitate to email me! dani @ danimarieblog.com.
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